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Does electron excitation for atoms above hydrogen happen at the valenc

  1. Sep 8, 2014 #1
    Does electron excitation for atoms above hydrogen happen at the valence before the core electrons first?

    I know that for a gamma ray it is due to the excitation within the nucleus, but what about for normal emission spectra.

    Do we just shine a bunch of different energy onto the atom and the energies will hit both the valence and the core, or does the valence take the brunt of most of the energy before it hits the core?

    I think that the electron's are moving around in the probable Energy regions, and if the different electrons in there different energy locations, ex. helium, receive the discrete energy to jump to it's discrete energy gap that is being radiated with the electron it will jump up because the radiation is hitting all the electrons(valence and the core), assuming a constant radiation of a continuum of different energies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2014 #2


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    That depends on the frequency (energy) of the radiation. Light in the visible or near UV can only excite valence electrons as they are least tightly bound. On the other hand, X-rays preferably lead to core ionization. Maybe you have already heard of Moseley's law which cleared up many open questions in the development of the periodic system.
  4. Sep 8, 2014 #3
    ooo, hmm. My last question is then, if we were to shine a energy radiation beam at a carbon atom for instance, would this constant energy beam be able to touch both the valence and the core electrons?
  5. Sep 9, 2014 #4


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    No problem with kicking out inner electrons with x-rays (compare with Auger effect and Auger electron spectroscopy), so the answer is yes.
  6. Sep 9, 2014 #5


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    Depends a little bit on what you mean with "touch". Generally, any radiation will interact with all electrons what will lead to the radiation being scattered. Whether ionization of core or valence electrons takes place, depends on the energy of the quanta of the incident radiation.
  7. Sep 9, 2014 #6
    Thanks Dr.Dru and Borek!
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